If you’ve lost a tooth or had to have an infected or broken tooth extracted, your dentist has probably talked to you about the possibility of placing dental implants.
. This permanent tooth replacement procedure offers a number of advantages over conventional dental prosthetics, including improved stability and longer lasting tooth replacement. Dental implants can even help you maintain healthy jaw bone tissue, something dentures and bridges cannot do. Yet, for all of their benefits, dental implants have one significant drawback: the time commitment involved. Today, we’re taking a closer look at why the dental implant procedure requires such an extensive time commitment and how advances in technology and materials have led to the development of same day implants.
A Dental Implant Timeline
Your unique needs as a patient will influence exactly how much time will be needed to complete your dental implant procedure. However, every dental implant procedure will involve the following basic steps:
- Consultation and records. At this initial appointment, you and your periodontist will decide what type of restoration you need and what your new smile will look like. Your periodontist will take extensive records to guide the planning of the procedure.
- Adjunct procedures. Depending on your current oral health situation, you may need adjunct procedures like bone grafting, gum grafting, or extracting damaged or decayed teeth.
- Implant surgery. Depending on the type of implants your periodontist recommends, you may need one or two separate procedures.
- Recovery. This is the most time consuming part of the dental implant process. To provide a stable foundation for your new teeth, the implant post must fuse with the surrounding bone tissue during the healing process. This could take anywhere from 3 to 6 months, depending on your general health and lifestyle.
- Placing, refitting, and refining the restoration. Once the implant heals and the prosthetic is in place, you can expect at least one round of revisions, as the dental lab makes subtle changes to the shape, shade, and size of the teeth.
From planning to placement, a dental implant procedure could take as much as 8 months to a year to complete. This is a sizable time commitment for any patient, especially those living with no teeth or with ill-fitting dentures.
How All-On-4 Speeds Up the Process
In the late 1990s, scientists with Nobel Biocare developed the All-On-4 system, a set of protocols that allowed dentists to place an implant-secured full denture plate on as few as four implant posts in a single appointment. Advances in dentistry have refined the process even more. Now, after an initial planning and records phase, a patient can walk into their periodontist’s office with no teeth (or with painful, infected, broken teeth) and walk out later that afternoon with a functional, highly esthetic set of replacement teeth.
About Dr. Marco Cueva
Marco Cueva, DDS, MS is a board-certified periodontist with extensive training and experience providing a full range of advanced periodontal care services, including dental implants like the revolutionary All-on-4 same day implant dentures. New patients can schedule an appointment or consultation with Periodontic Excellence at our Allen, TX Office by calling 972-390-9944.